Learning Resource Center: Fact sheets

The MPCA has publications available for free download. Minnesota residents may also request printed copies of these publications in limited quantities. To order copies, contact us by e-mail at resourcecenter.pca@state.mn.us or you may also reach us by phone at 651-757-2120.

Waste reduction/backyard burning

PDF icon Reducing waste at home

Households in Minnesota are creating and throwing away more waste than ever. From junk mail to excess paint to food scraps - it takes a lot of time and money to deal with all of this garbage! Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your waste at home.

PDF icon Reduce trash when you shop

You probably don’t go to the store saying, “I think I’ll buy some garbage today.” But depending on which products you choose, that is at least partly what you’re doing. Reducing the waste you create through your buying habits helps prevent the costs and hassle of trash.

PDF icon Creating less trash at school

There are lots of ways that we can reduce waste at school. By thinking ahead and being creative, you can reduce your impact on the environment and save money at the same time.

PDF icon Reducing waste in the workplace

When it comes to conserving resources, preventing pollution and saving money, reducing waste trumps recycling. In this game, businesses and organizations of all sizes can truly do well by doing good.


PDF icon Junk mail reduction card

Too much junk mail? Stop it at the source. This fact sheet directs you to opt-out points of contact so you can remove your name from mailing lists that generate more than 5.8 million tons of waste each year.

PDF icon If you’re burning garbage, you’re making poison (Backyard burning fact sheet)

Burning garbage in your backyard—whether done in a traditional burn barrel, wood stove, fire-pit, or at the cabin—is far more harmful to your health, our health, and the environment than previously thought.

PDF icon If you’re burning garbage, you’re making poison

(A condensed version of the backyard burning fact sheet)


Household hazardous waste/nontoxic products

PDF icon Safe disposal options for needles and syringes

It is important to manage and dispose of sharps safely to prevent injury and disease transmission from needle-sticks. Never leave needles or syringes on streets, in parks, or anywhere else where someone could get injured.

PDF icon Non-toxic cleaning recipes

Until recently, indoor air pollution has been largely ignored as a source of exposure to toxicity. One way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals is to clean with simple combinations of common household materials like baking soda, vinegar, and plant-based soaps.

PDF icon Fluorescent light bulbs: use them, recycle them

Using energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs makes good sense—you save money on electric bills and help protect the environment. But because they contain mercury, fluorescent bulbs of all shapes and sizes from households must be recycled to avoid polluting the environment and posing a health threat.

PDF icon Household battery disposal

Once a battery is used up or no longer useful, the battery’s “chemistry” will determine how best to dispose of it. Look on the battery’s label and/or packaging to identify the chemistry. Then safely dispose of it by following this guide.

PDF icon Lead recalls and proper management

Millions of imported toys, jewelry, vinyl lunch boxes, and clothing clasps containing unsafe levels of lead are currently being sold in stores across the U.S. To protect children, be aware of every item you buy, no matter where you buy it.

PDF icon How to reduce toxic chemicals in your home

Chemicals are part of our lives. We treat illnesses, paint our houses, and even clothe ourselves with products that have been developed through chemical research. However, there are reasons to be cautious about our exposure to some chemicals.

Household Hazardous Waste

PDF icon Sinkers - get the lead out

Non-lead fishing tackle is an effective alternative to lead tackle, and it protects loons, eagles and other wildlife.


PDF icon Household hazardous waste disposal guide (7-county metro area)

Don't throw this stuff in the trash. Some household wastes pose a threat to people or the environment--or both-- if not disposed of properly. Your local household hazardous waste facility can safely dispose of these items, sometimes at little or no cost to you. Learn how to recognize and properly dispose of hazardous waste in your home.

Please note: this publication is for residents of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties.

PDF icon Household hazardous waste disposal guide (Greater Minnesota)

Don't throw this stuff in the trash. Some household wastes pose a threat to people or the environment--or both-- if not disposed of properly. Your local household hazardous waste facility can safely dispose of these items, sometimes at little or no cost to you. Learn how to recognize and properly dispose of hazardous waste in your home.

Please note: this publication is for Minnesota residents outside the 7-county metropolitan area.


Composting/lawn and garden

PDF icon How to grow a healthy, no-waste lawn and garden

Caring for all the green and growing things in your yard can have a big effect on how much waste your household creates. From grass trimmings and leaves to pesticides and water, the eco-impact of your lawn and garden can be significant. But it doesn’t have to be.

PDF icon Reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides (w-hhw1-20)

Pesticides (which includes insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) are designed to kill weeds, insects, rodents, and mold. These chemicals can be poisonous and can pose a danger to animals and people, especially children. Keeping pests out of your home and yard in the first place eliminates the need for pesticides—and toxic chemicals— in your home and yard.

PDF icon  How to compost your organic waste

Home composting is an easy way to turn much of the waste from your yard and kitchen into a rich material that you can use to improve your soil.

PDF icon  Diagnosing common backyard composting problems

Does your compost pile smell bad? Does it take too long to break down? Here are some solutions to these and other common backyard composting problems.

PDF icon How to compost with worms

Vermiculture, or worm composting, uses red wiggler worms (Eisenia foetida) to biologically decompose food waste. Worm composting can save money on your garbage bills, reduce the volume of trash you contribute to landfills, and create a rich, organic additive for gardens and houseplants.

Make the most of your compost

Avid gardeners know that compost has many benefits. Here are some tips for using compost in your yard, garden, and potted plants.



Green building, energy, and  climate change

PDF icon  Green building: A healthier, more efficient home helps our environment

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling, green building offers strategies to save money operating your home, create a healthier living space, and reduce your impact on the environment.


PDF icon  Green remodeling: Tips for Minnesota homeowners

Remodeling an existing home provides an opportunity to reduce home energy demands, reduce home maintenance costs, and increase comfort efficiently and cost-effectively. By the same token, remodeling can create waste and pollution. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can minimize the ecological impacts of remodeling projects.

PDF icon Where to find green building products

Choosing products is an important part of the green building process. Some products have measurable benefits for homeowners, while others have attributes that likely reduce their impact on the environment. Selecting products with multiple benefits is the best approach.

PDF icon Climate change in Minnesota

Global warming is changing our climate and is impacting our natural systems. The 12 warmest years in the instrumental record have occurred since 1990. Our actions can reduce the production of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.